I realized today that I am in a new season of life. The realization came after telling a friend that I couldn’t hang out because I had to work on my to-do list (I will now accept my award for worst friend EVER).
As a single gal, I observed the usual pattern of friends who were getting married: they would drop off the face of the earth for at least a few months, and then our friendship would never be the same. I wanted so badly to NOT be one of those people, but deep down I knew it would happen. Even our pastor told us it would happen (and encouraged it, because after all, a lot of things change when you tie the knot, and you need some space to figure those things out). But today I finally understood it. It’s not that I have so much fun hanging out with my husband that I think I don’t need anyone else. I do enjoy his company, but let’s be honest–there are certain things that boys just don’t understand. I will always need time with my female friends, it will just look different depending on which season I am in.
The first few months after we got married were filled with work trips, shopping for furniture and trying to figure out how to do this thing called life together. During the next few months, all of my spare time was spent with my terminally ill mom, and trying to process all of that–not by myself, like I was accustomed, but with this man who now shares my bed. Then out of the blue we bought a house! The last couple of months have been filled with moving, unpacking, and house projects galore.
At first I saw these things as excuses. And I felt bad. Because I should be able to manage all of these things and still have time for my friends. But now I realize that they aren’t excuses. They are seasons. Each season is different, and comes with it’s own challenges.
I think of “College-Lindsay”, who one time broke down crying because she just didn’t have enough time to shower. Now I look back and laugh because I had SO much free time in college. That’s the beauty of hindsight, isn’t it?
Maybe you’re a college student, trying to balance work, school, studying, and hanging out with your friends. Maybe you’re working 60 hours a week at a job you hate. Maybe you’re a mom who hasn’t taken a shower in a week (College-Lindsay totally feels you. It’s ok to cry about that). Wherever you’re at, know that this too shall pass. Someday you will look back and think fondly of this time.
I’m not exactly sure what I would call the season I’m in now, but I know it is a season that requires boundaries. Because the items on that to-do list are important. If I don’t prep my meals on the weekend, I will eat badly all week…which means I will feel badly all week. If I don’t get a chance for a little bit of self-care, doing the things I love (like reading and writing), I will be miserable and exhausted all week. And here is the most important thing that I have learned: If I am miserable, my husband is also miserable. So while single-Lindsay could switch up her priorities and deal with the consequences later, married-Lindsay is going to try her hardest to make good choices for the benefit of her family.
What season are you in? How have you seen this play out in your life?